The Academy Awards will have a host in 2022 for the first time in three years, but there’s still no word on who it will be.
In 2019, a controversy surrounding Kevin Hart led to the decision by ABC to move forward with the award show without a host for the first time in recent memory. Audiences seemingly responded positively to the change given the ratings that the Oscars got that year, so the network decided to keep with that format, until now.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association virtual press tour, Hulu Originals & ABC Entertainment President Craig Erwich revealed that the network is currently on the hunt for a pop culture savvy host to helm the show for the first time since Jimmy Kimmel did the job for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
“It might be me,” Erwich joked (via Variety).
He went on to note that he is leaving the decision as to who will host the show up to the executive producer of the Oscars Will Packer.
“Will really has his pulse on popular culture and entertainment,” Erwich explained. “I know he has a lot in store and we’ll have more details to share soon.”
Hart stepped down as the 2019 host of The Oscars after the Academy asked him to apologize for homophobic tweets he had sent as jokes years prior. Although he did apologize for the insensitive comment, he decided that the Oscars hosting gig was simply not for him at that time amid the controversy.
The year, the host-free Oscars hit a new ratings high, prompting ABC to decide against a host in 2020. It did the same in 2021 as the show was forced to adapt to the era of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, both those years brought new lows for the show’s ratings.
As a result, it makes sense that the network is looking to shake things up again with a new host. Past Oscars hosts besides Kimmel have included Chris Rock (2016), Neil Patrick Harris (2015), Ellen DeGeneres (2014), Seth MacFarlane (2013), Billy Crystal (2012) and James Franco/Anne Hathaway (2011).
The Oscars are currently scheduled to broadcast on March 27 and return to the traditional Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood after last year’s pandemic-delayed show took place at Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles.